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Kira Gruber

Hyde Amendment

In this presentation, we delve into the strategies employed by both proponents and opponents of the Hyde Amendment to rally support for their respective causes. We will examine how these groups mobilize their bases through governmental channels, protests, and targeted campaigns.

Governmental Channels

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House Hearing on abortion affordability, specifically highlighting the racism associated with the Hyde Amendment

The legality of the Hyde Amendment is argued on the Senate floor with Senator Kennedy arguing against it

Addressing the Hyde Amendment within governmental institutions elevates national awareness of pertinent issues. Government actors have the platform to articulate the perspectives of their constituents, engaging in debates with opponents and drawing attention to key concerns

Republican representative Linda Smith discuss the Hyde Amendment regarding welfare reform legislation

Representative Linda Smith advocated for the Hyde Amendment, articulating a staunchly pro-life perspective. Her stance emphasizes the amendment's effectiveness in reducing pregnancies, particularly 'out of wedlock births,' and saving the lives of babies. Additionally, she asserts that abortions lead to other detrimental life choices, implying that the amendment serves as a deterrent. The narrative of saving lives is a prevalent theme among proponents of the Hyde Amendment.

Representative Smith

In the House Appropriations Committee, there is explicit emphasis on the impact of the Hyde Amendment on women of color. This stance is rooted in the assertion that institutionalized racism permeates our society and is also ingrained in the Hyde Amendment. Reproductive justice groups leverage this argument to underscore the disproportionate impact of such issues on impoverished women, who are predominantly women of color

House Hearing

On the Senate floor, the discussion underscores the Hyde Amendment's contradiction to a Supreme Court constitutional ruling. Furthermore, the senator explicitly asserts that this amendment disproportionately affects poor women, fostering a narrative of their heightened vulnerability. Reproductive rights groups frequently emphasize the direct repercussions on impoverished women.

Senator Kennedy

Women's March & March for Life


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The Women's March for Reproductive Rights in Washington D.C. include speakers discussing the harms the Hyde Amendment has done

The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH) is highlighted at this protest

Protests serve as powerful platforms for mobilizing supporters and amplifying advocacy efforts. Through impassioned speeches and demonstrations, protestors convey their message to a wider audience, attracting media coverage and elevating their cause to a broader scale.

Rachel Carmona, the Executive Director of the Women’s March, emphasizes the imperative of mobilizing voters and enacting legislation to directly challenge the Hyde Amendment. Carmona highlights the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act of 2021 (EACH), a bill championed by the reproductive justice group All* Above All (Baker, 2021). All* Above All, a coalition led by women of color, is dedicated to advancing reproductive justice, encompassing racial, economic, and immigrant justice (All Above All, n.d.). This underscores the comprehensive approach taken by reproductive justice groups. Moreover, Carmona underscores the importance of voter outreach initiatives to empower more individuals in the public to participate in decision-making on these critical issues.

Rachel Carmona

The Women’s March, a prominent political protest movement, is dedicated to leveraging the collective political influence of diverse women and their communities to instigate significant social transformations (Women’s March, n.d.). Central to their framework is the establishment of an economy that recognizes and upholds the rights of women, addressing critical issues such as wealth distribution disparities in America (n.d.). Moreover, the movement advocates for a more inclusive democracy that ensures equitable access to reproductive healthcare and aims to dismantle systems of white supremacy, thereby amplifying the voices of marginalized women of color who have long been disenfranchised (n.d.).

Women's March

Activist Cristela Alonzo recounts a narrative of a woman who tragically lost her life as a result of resorting to an unsafe abortion due to the unavailability of safe abortion services covered under her federal insurance. By sharing such a compelling story, Alonzo aims to evoke emotional responses from the audience, shedding light on the real-life consequences of the Hyde Amendment. This emotive approach seeks to elicit sympathy and support from the public, urging them to stand against the amendment and advocate for change.

Cristela Alonzo

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At the March for Life in Washington D.C., pro-life actvists discuss the Hyde Amendment

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini and Lozier Institute President Chuck Donovan talk about the Hyde Amendment

The President of March for Life, joined by Chuck Donovan, President of the Lozier Institute, underscored the importance of the Hyde Amendment. He argues that the amendment has saved over 2 million lives, presenting a contrasting viewpoint to opponents who prioritize women's access to abortion. This premise operates on the belief that life commences at conception, leveraging this ethical stance to advocate against the funding of abortion through taxation.

Value of Hyde Amendment

At the March for Life protest, attended by multiple representatives, the speaker emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the Hyde Amendment is incorporated into Obamacare. This perspective is rooted in the belief that life begins at conception and asserts that federal tax dollars should not be allocated to fund abortions through federal healthcare programs.


March for life is a pro-life coalition that has the mission to end abortion educating and mobilizing those with the same beliefs (March for Life, n.d.). This groups holds a large protest in Washington D.C. every January which garners thousands of protestors (n.d.).

March for Life

Targeted Campaigns

Opponents ofHyde Amendment

Opponents of the Hyde Amendment predominantly center their efforts on addressing the disparities in abortion access created by the amendment, particularly for low-income women. This aspect forms the much of their outreach and campaigning endeavors, with slight variation between reproductive rights groups and reproductive justice groups in what they emphasize.

Opponents of the Hyde Amendment emphasize the disparity it creates for those most likely to seek abortions, namely poor and low-income women. This narrative is supported by data from the Guttmacher Institute, illustrating that approximately 75% of individuals obtaining abortions come from this demographic. Such statistics underscore the argument that the Hyde Amendment perpetuates injustice for women of lower economic status.

Poor and Low Income Women

Poor and Low IncomeWomen of Color

Reproductive justice groups specifically emphasize the disproportionate number of women of color using Medicaid. Consequently, the Hyde Amendment disproportionately affects women of color at a significantly higher rate compared to white women. Data from the Guttmacher Institute shows this point, revealing that 52% of individuals affected by the Hyde Amendment are women of color, placing them in the majority. This draws attention to the challenges faced by women of color, inviting them to acknowledge the unique struggles they endure

Proponents of the Hyde Amendment primarily focus their campaign around the point of the public's taxes being used to fund abortion through federal health insurance. This premise rests upon not only that life begins at conception, but that taxpayers should not have their money go towards a controversial topic like abortion (Noguchi, 2023). A leader of an anti-abortion group stated that "Ultimately, I think our focus should still remain on criminalizing [abortion]. … But I think in the meantime we also should oppose the taxpayer funding of it … just because it’s a winning strategy" (Braunstein, 2022, p.13). This statement shows the effectiveness this strategy has garnered pro-life coalitions.


When looking at the different mobilization strategies between proponents and opponents of the Hyde Amendment, one strategy strikes me as being effective. Proponents of the Hyde Amendment have a base belief that life begins at conception and these lives need to be protected through the abolition of abortion. However, they have another component to their strategy, the emphasis on the tax payer aspect of the debate which draws in all of the public.Opponents of the Hyde Amendment heavily focus on and campaign around the inaccessibility to acquire abortion for poor and low income women, and disproportionally women of color. Although I agree with these principles, not all of the public may necessarily resonate with the sentiment as much as me, a political science student at a primarily liberal university. A possible mobilization strategy could be to also include a narrative around the increase in tax dollars towards social programs if more low income women have children that will more often than not also stay low income, a concept known as stickiness at the ends. Adding this component to campaign strategies draws a larger amount of the population into the conversation since taxes are involved.

Mobilization Suggestion

40 years is enough: Let’s end the harmful and unjust hyde amendment | guttmacher institute. (2016, September 28). https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2016/09/40-years-enough-lets-end-harmful-and-unjust-hyde-amendmentBaker, C. N. (2021, March 25). Each act would end hyde amendment and restore insurance coverage for abortion care. Ms. Magazine. https://msmagazine.com/2021/03/25/each-act-end-hyde-amendment-insurance-coverage-abortion-medicaid/Breen, T. (2022, November 2). How the threat of “taxpayer-funded abortion” is being used to mobilize conservative religious voters. UConn Today. https://today.uconn.edu/2022/11/how-the-threat-of-taxpayer-funded-abortion-is-being-used-to-mobilize-conservative-religious-voters/Home. (n.d.). March for Life. Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://marchforlife.org/House hearing on abortion affordability | c-span. Org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?507083-1/house-hearing-abortion-affordabilityInstitute 212 248 1953, R. W. G. (2016, May 9). Abortion patients more likely to be poor in 2014 than in 2008 | guttmacher institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2016/abortion-patients-more-likely-be-poor-2014-2008“March for life” rally | january 22, 2015 | c-span. Org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?323924-1/march-life-rallyPetition. (n.d.). No Taxpayer Abortion. Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.notaxpayerabortion.comThe life-saving value of the hyde amendment. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp3nkZgLK6kU. S. Bishops’ pro-life chairman expresses support for “no taxpayer funding for abortion” | usccb. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.usccb.org/news/2023/us-bishops-pro-life-chairman-expresses-support-no-taxpayer-funding-abortionUser clip: Anti-hyde | c-span. Org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5110595/user-clip-anti-hydeUser clip: March each act | c-span. Org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5110590/user-clip-march-actUser clip: Women’s march hyde amendment | c-span. Org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5110589/user-clip-womens-march-hyde-amendmentWelfare Reform | March 22, 1995 00:00:00 | C-SPAN.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.c-span.org/video/?64129-1/welfare-reform